Wed, 19 Jun 2019

New Delhi [India], Dec 10 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by a former BJP MLA of Jammu and Kashmir challenging dismissal of the state Assembly by Governor Satyapal Malik last month.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul, refused to interfere in the matter, observing that there was no merit in the petition filed by Gagan Bhagat who wanted annulment of the Governor's decision and a direction to him to get a floor test conducted.

In his petition, Bhagat had alleged that Malik's decision to dissolve the Assembly on November 21 was "arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal" and his intentions as "mala fide and biased".

The 87-member Assembly was under suspended animation since June 19 when the PDP-BJP coalition government collapsed and the Governor dissolved the House late on November 21 night.

Malik's action came shortly after competitive claims were presented by PDP leader and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and People's Conference leader Sajad Lone for formation of a government in the state which is under Governor's rule since June.

While on one side, arch-rivals PDP and National Conference (NC) joined hands with the Congress to stake claim for government-formation, on other other side, People's Conference also staked the claim, citing support of BJP.

The Governor's action had triggered a major political row but he justified his decision by saying that he apprehended horse-trading for government-formation.

He had said that he did not want the formation of a government by any 'unholy alliance.'

"These are the forces that are against democracy at the grass root level. Once they felt that the situation was slipping out of their hands, they formed an unholy alliance to form the government," Malik told ANI.

Comment on the Governor's action, Bhagat told ANI, "It is the biggest joke in a democracy that you keep the Assembly suspended for five months and when a party stakes claim to form the government you dissolve it. This policy is incorrect and undemocratic." (ANI)

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